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Choose and research a topic on writing an informational paragraph. Decide on the purpose and audience while engaging in the writing process.

When writing an informational paragraph, it is important to know what information your audience needs to know as well as remembering that your paragraph shouldn't be trying to convince the reader of anything.

Expert Answers

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From the looks of it, this prompt is asking you to consider the rhetorical situation before beginning your paragraph. You are the writer and message giver. You are encoding your message in words and sending it to your reader who has to receive it, interpret it, and hopefully understand it. Notice how important the audience is. It is unfortunate that many student writers don't consider their audience enough when writing an essay or delivering a speech.

The audience is going to determine a lot of how your piece is put together. The genre has already been chosen for you. You have to write an informative paragraph rather than something like a persuasive paragraph. Because the genre is informative, spend time considering what your audience already knows about the topic. If the audience is completely clueless, the essay has to provide foundational basics of your topic. If the audience is already well versed in the topic, then those basics do not need to be provided. You risk boring your reader if you spend too much time discussing things they already know. Knowing your audience is also going to determine how you encode the message. An adult reader that is already knowledgeable about the topic is going to be comfortable with you using the technical jargon associated with the topic. If that doesn't make sense, think about how you would "encode" your message in writing differently if your audience was a 4th grader rather than a thirty-five-year-old teacher.

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